UPDATE: NS Conductor Killed in Collision, NTSB Launches Investigation

By Railfan & Railroad Staff

A 46-year-old Norfolk Southern conductor was killed early Tuesday morning when a dump truck collided with a rail car in Cleveland. 

On Tuesday afternoon, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen identified the man as Louis Shuster, 46, of Broadview Heights, Ohio. Shuster was hired out on NS in 2005 and served as president of BLET Division 607. Shuster also served in the military. 

“Lou was a passionate and dedicated union brother,” said Pat Redmond, Local Chairman of BLET Division 607. “He was always there for his coworkers. He was very active in helping veterans who worked on the railroad and veterans all across our community.”

The incident occurred at a rail crossing inside a Cleveland-Cliffs steel mill. The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to the site to investigate. This is the third NTSB investigation launched since February 3 involving NS in Ohio and the fifth since December 2021. On Tuesday, the NTSB announced it was launching a special investigation into NS’ organization and safety culture.

“The continued safe operations of Norfolk Southern is vital to the United States,” NTSB officials said. “The NTSB is concerned that several organizational factors may be involved in the accidents, including safety culture. The NTSB will conduct an in-depth investigation into the safety practices and culture of the company. At the same time, the company should not wait to improve safety and the NTSB urges it to do so immediately.”

This article was posted on: March 7, 2023